Saturday, March 31, 2018

Release Blitz ~ Anail Dhragain (Dragon's Breath) by Stephan Knox (Giveaway)

Release Blitz ~ Anail Dhragain  (Dragon's Breath) by Stephan Knox

231,256 words
Pre-Arthurian Historical Fantasy / British Editing / Graphic


Serving as a Brittunculi Legionnaire in the very occupation he hates the most, Trystian has yet to labour through some of the hardest lessons of life.

Fourteen years of his youth have been conscripted by the deceitful Legatus Legionis Gallusthrough impossible choices forced upon him; that time is gone, but now, so are the Romans. Free after so long, Trystian’s only desire is to go home— to the family he fears has been destroyed, even after he’d remained dutifully under the regime, and to the one with whom he left his heart.

In a time when so few dare to pray to her any longer, he hopes his devotion to his Goddess is strong enough to wake her from the slumbers of abandonment, so that she may see him through his ultimate and most brutal path yet ahead. The one that will finally return him home. It is this journey, at the most dismal point in his life, which forces him to reconcile with his past, and make peace with the choices that had been made for him long ago.

It’d started when he’d been a young man, struggling with how to contain his discontent of the Roman occupation of Briton so as not to shame his father. Nevertheless, not even the receding Roman reign had come soon enough for Trystian. But back home in Penrith, Cumbria, the ominous Roman presence wasn’t the only thing that caused Trystian a troubled mind. As a young man coming of age, he found there were some things he didn’t have in common with other young men, and an encounter with a secret Welsh noble with exotic eastern features both terrified and excited Trystian. However, life for Trystian wasn’t just his own or simple enough for him to have the time he had wished for to explore. Such feelings, stirring within him— they remained untouched as he was tutored and conditioned to be something greater for their people and the family’s future.

After all the misfortune and misery of the past, Trystian now forges towards a future he never once imagined as his fate. For the Goddess never truly abandons her children born from the blessed rites of the Calan Mai.

For Trystian Pendragon isn’t just high born, he is Sliocht na Péiste— “born of the dragon”— and his future belongs to the Goddess and to the destiny of the royal Pendragon bloodline. Survive it all, and the Goddess Morrighan just might bless him with a reunified bond he’d once made within the Anáil Dhragain.

Add it to Goodreads

BUY LINKS – Smashwords   |   Amazon


The air reeked of three days’ worth of dead. The fetid rot burned the nostrils so brutally that the fresh, acrid smell of flowing dark copper was welcome. Veteran soldiers didn’t tell the young about such things— about the surfeit odours on the battlefield. In his days in his father’s court, training to fight with sword and bow, the stench was never mentioned. Nor was it an odour one imagined that followed. Not rancid— not yet, the bodies were too fresh for that still. No, it was the piss that ran down the man’s legs seconds before the first sword was raised that was the first pungency that coated the nostrils and made the eyes burn. Then, the foul smell of guts of every eviscerated man was added. Spilled faeces and festering puss from the previous battle-wounds oozed out of entrails and severed limbs. It choked the senses, making a man want to vomit. Some did. And it, too, gave off a share to the odourous soup.

Then somewhere, a faint thin scent of green and clean air touched his nose and face. He paused, sucking in as much of it as he could, holding it in until his lungs ached, forcing him to let it out.Life without fighting. That’s what the fluttering scent meant. A gift only one could have reminded him of, and it renewed his determination to live long enough to enjoy the scent again one day.

He ran towards the dark hulking man ahead of him and sliced his belly open with a left to right slit, and when the Saxon dropped, Trystian saw blue sky cresting over a hill of red—
It was then, he realized, there was no one else left to kill.

His charge came to a balking stop so suddenly, the momentum threatened to topple him over. But the moment was true.

A quieting lull in the clanging and clamouring seemed to agree. The respited sigh was unpreventable, yet he twisted about quickly to look behind him, just to be sure. Of those who were alive, they were either his brethren-in-arms, or crawling over the dead to escape or plea to be finished. The ravine was now little else but a mass grave. But he turned his back to it, refusing to lament or remorse, moving to face back up the hill and there— up there— was life, and he willed his body to climb the last couple yards to breach the top.

Salty, cool air pushed up from the nearby coast to greet him, and Trystian let out the biggest sigh he could. The exhalation took what strength he had left with a throaty groan and down to his knees he went. He sank his sword into the ground, using the hilt to rest his head. He closed his eyes and darkness rushed his mind to cloak him.


No sounds— No cries— No battles— and oddly— No Romans.
Just blissful darkness. The earth under him seemed to rock like a babe’s cradle meant to lull him to sleep forever. A small wooden boat meant to take him across the waters, beyond the veil and into Avalon. He welcomed it each time. That strange, dark silent moment between fighting and living, and he leaned into his sword even more. He breathed in deep, filling his lungs with the sea air and expelling the acrid stench of the blood that blanketed over scorched fields.


No— not nothing— something. His brows pinched as his eyes sought to see in the black of his eyelids. What was it? The breeze swooped in on him again. Only this time, it was warm like a breath on his cheek, and he saw in his mind a fine mist spill out from the darkness and swirl about his legs.


Trystian’s eyes shot open, startled by the echo of a man’s whisper, returning him to the late day sun breaking free of the dark clouds hanging overhead with promises of cleansing them of their deeds. The sounds of the dying crept back in on his senses to remind him nothing didn’t exist. Not for him. Not on this day. Not yet.


Stephan [pronounced: stef-fahn] is a relocated Nova Scotian who now lives in the sunshine state of the US, where he spends most of his time writing out on the beach and tending to his accidental vegetable garden. He’s always been known to create vividly wild stores since he was a kid without any desires of publishing. Now, after retiring from the concert industry, his longtime affair of writing as a favorite pastime has now become a new profession.
Being a Native American Siksika of mix blood (mixed culture as well), it was inevitable that everything else in his design would turn out to be a mix bag of hosh-posh influences thrown into a life time of nerdy-love for the studies into ancient cultures and religions. From his Indian heritage and Mariners family history, to his own self-expressions of gothic punk and natural science, plus a little bit of everything he’s ever explored and sampled, always managing to avoid falling into any form of stereo type’s definition. It’s no wonder, when it comes to his writing, he’s a rule breaker. Even when it comes to his two favorite genres: Post-Apocalyptic Dark Fantasy and Historical Fantasy.
But in the end, oh the places we will go.
Contact Stephan on Facebook @

GIVEAWAY: One lucky reader who participates leaving a comment regarding the cover or the book along with their e-mail address on this post or the cover reveal post, could win an e-copy of this book. You have until April 3rd at 8pm to enter. Good luck! 


  1. Thank you for the excerpt. I do love the cover, it is enticing....

  2. I love the cover and who would not enjoy a dragon. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. such an evocative cover! gorgeous!


  4. enjoyed reading the excerpt
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  5. Congrats. The setting intrigued me (and tbh, so did your background). - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  6. Great cover. It sounds like an interesting read. Thank you for the excerpt!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. It sounds good, thanks for the chance.